Contributed by: Marcia Farias – Student – University of Guyana
Our world today is in a total mess, and there is little doubt that a flawed education system has contributed to this to some extend, if not entirely. With the greed-driven capitalist ideology on one hand the the failed communist ideology on the other, it is clear to see that the world needs to beat a middle path.
A great mind once wrote:
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Unknown
And that’s the case in point: the education system only caters for a particular group of academically orientated minds, leaving the vast majority of students feeling as though they are stupid. But the truth is, they aren’t! It’s the education system that’s stupid for making these differently-gifted geniuses feel stupid.
What is Education
There is a major difference between the concepts of “education” “knowledge” and “intelligence.” Sadly, most educated people cannot identify this difference. They think that a person is intelligent simply because he or she is educated.
If you already know the differences between these three words, then congratulations. If you don’t, no offense: you may very well be in some very good company.
Education exists to train students to do things in a better, more productive way. It exists to help students differentiate facts from myths. Education serves to help a person accomplish a particular task in the most efficient, profitable and presentable manner possible.
Knowledge is the thing that we feed to students to make them more and more educated.
Intelligence on the other hand is something inherent within the individual. The most educated doctor or lawyer could still be unintelligent. There are different levels of intelligence, and different forms of intelligence. On the other hand, a completely uneducated person (according to the present school system), who has never had a day of schooling, could be highly intelligent.
Education enables you to use what you have already learned or rehearsed to accomplish the task at hand. Intelligence enables you to find solutions and accomplish tasks that the world previously thought impossible. Naturally, an intelligent person will learn how to educate himself or herself at a faster rate, if he or she so chooses.
The Education System In Guyana.
I will start with what I know best. I was born and raised in Guyana, South America, so I would like to focus the initial articles of my discourse on the education system of Guyana.
Firstly, the education system in Guyana leaves TOO MUCH to be desired. There are some good people at the administrative end of it; but mostly it consists of a bunch of monkeys jumping up and down the social ladder. Of course, it is not their fault if they are not intelligent, and just educated, and going through the mill like the rest of the by-products of colonialism. After all, that is all that they know.
But for the rest of us who know better and choose to do better, we would agree that the entire education system in Guyana could do with some major streamlining, if not a complete overhaul.
Leave no margin for error.
In life, we must embrace this fact: there is no margin for error. One slip and you slide, one mistake and your life’s at stake. That is the reality of the situation. Next, I would like to make a case study to demonstrate how flawed the education system in Guyana really is.
A Case Study in Education: Akbar Khan
Akbar and I grew up the same neighborhood. We both attended the same nursery school, the same primary school, but branched off at the high school level. Akbar went to local Community High School, while I went to the Corentyne Comprehensive High School. At the end of the day, Akbar was given no education credits or certificate and his literacy level is very low. What was the cause for this? Was it a flaw in the education system or is it that something is wrong with Akbar’s brain. If you think that something is wrong with Akbar’s brain, then you probably didn’t see him ride a motorcycle, drive a car, maneuver a truck, Hymac, or other industrial machine. You didn’t see him break open the bonnet of a car or go under the hood of any of these vehicles.
Certainly, his powers of reasoning, and his ability to fix mechanical problems would dictate that this kid is highly intelligent. Yet, the education system in Guyana, for which his dad sweated at the cane fields in Guyana for decades to support with tax paying dollars, has failed Akbar. This leads us to…
The trouble with mass education.
The world is steadily evolving, and we must accept this. And so are nations, civilizations and countries. We have come a far way, but we are still at the stage where governments care more about profits than for human lives. Of course, we may not, (or do we?) afford one teacher per student at the nursery level, but at least we should not accept failure at the nursery or early primary levels. It should be the duty of the government to ensure that the building blocks for education are laid in every child in the early childhood years. Even if you look at it more from a “capitalism” rather than a “human” perspective, you will still be winning if you do this.
Wasting human lives is no joke.
And neither is teaching children to eat of the bread of idleness. Or telling them indirectly that they are just not good enough. A good parent knows the importance of raising productive children. But not all children are lucky to have responsible parents who ensure their intellectual growth and productivity. And that’s where the education system needs to come into play; but it fails. There is something that every child likes and inwardly yearns to do; and no, it doesn’t call for a trained psychologist to figure it out on an individual level. It is the duty of the older generation to ensure that each child wakes up to a productive day that gears them to a successful career path.
Balancing the scales.
We’ve heard it too many times because it is true: too much of anything is good for nothing. And that goes for work too. We shouldn’t overload our students with paperwork just because they are smart academically, leaving the physical capabilities of the child to plummet because they are too busy becoming bookworms. I’m not saying reading is not good; reading is good, but too much of work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The curriculum in schools should ensure that each pupil receives the adequate amount of exercise to make each child physically capable. And no, school sports is not enough to accomplish this.
Food and Nutrition in Schools.
The importance of consuming the right types of foods in the right proportions should not be underestimated. Many people become extremists thinking they can survive bizarre conditions. These theories do not hold up to the test of time. Not only should we teach our students the importance of getting the right food and vitamins into the body, but we should make sure the students are getting it. The government needs to take steps to make food and beverages freely available to all students. The Brazilian government is already doing this, so why not us?
Don’t live your life by assumptions.
We’ve all heard the old sayings about assumption, because it is true. I don’t want to repeat some of these sayings here right now, but you get the point. We shouldn’t assume that all students in the schools come from adequate homes with adequate parents. That is just not the case, and it is certainly not a good assumption to make. A lot is at stake, after all, our kids are our future. The government, with the aid of its welfare officers and other special forces, needs to pay special attention to ensure that each child is in the right condition to learn and thrive in learning.